Frankenstein @ National Theatre: How To Get Tickets
Putting Danny Boyle in charge of a play was always going to produce something impressive and visceral, a fact that is slammed home at the very beginning of Frankenstein. In the centre of a blood red set, the Creature pulses within its fake womb before breaking out (yes, yes, this is the bit where you get to see Jonny Lee Miller or Benedict Cumberbatch in the nip) and spending ten staggering minutes learning to breathe, move, walk. This section is barely over before a steam train screeches towards the audience to a pounding Underworld soundtrack. You won't see anything this breathtaking outside a West End musical.
And the two central performances? Cumberbatch and Miller alternate the roles of Victor Frankenstein and his creation, a role reversal which, in the words of the Independent:
makes deep thematic sense because it highlights the irony whereby the son becomes the father and the slave the master
In other words, this Frankenstein is no schlock horror show, it's about revealing the far more subtle horrors of humanity and pride, and when the two leads are together it's electrifying. We agree wholeheartedly with the Telegraph that
the production may be intermittently hobbled by dud dialogue and second-rate supporting performances, but at its best there is no doubt that Frankenstein is the most viscerally exciting and visually stunning show in town.
Sadly, we're not the only people to have realised this possibility in advance and the whole run is sold out. But because this is the National Theatre, you still have a shot at seeing a production. For each performance the National releases a small number of £10 tickets (around 30 seats in the Olivier and Lyttelton, 20 for the Cottesloe) when the box office opens and then, when they've gone, about 20 £5 standing tickets.
This day ticket policy is a fantastic way to see good productions if you're late to the party or strapped for cash but be warned: just because the box office opens at 9.30am, doesn't mean you get there at 9.30am. We once got into the queue at 8am on a day with two performances of an incredibly popular play and got the last standing tickets. For Frankenstein, we recommend you turn up about 6am. Really.
If that doesn't sound like fun you could try and find the few remaining tickets for the NT Live cinema screenings on 17th and 24th March.
Last Updated 13 March 2011